September 15, 2012
Sperbeck leads Jesuit past Falcons 28-23 in Holy Bowl

If the football thing doesn't work out for Jesuit's Thomas Sperbeck, he might consider a career as a dancer.

The senior quarterback's brilliant footwork and raw speed enabled No. 15 Jesuit to defeat No. 16 Christian Brothers 28-23 Saturday night in Holy Bowl XLII at Hughes Stadium.

In front of a 15,000-plus crowd, the 6-foot, 175-pound Sperbeck threw for a touchdown; scored on runs of four and 72 yards and returned a fumble 85 yards for a touchdown as the Marauders (3-0) beat the Falcons (3-1) for the 26th time in the annual matchup of the area's two largest parochial schools.

Sperbeck, who rushed for 95 yards and passed for 68 against a hard-hitting Christian Brothers defense, also had a 50-yard run called back on a penalty.

Caden Noon's two four-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown runs cut Jesuit's 28-10 lead to five points with 2:45 to play in the fourth quarter. But the Marauders' Tyler Marshall recovered the on-side kick and Jesuit was able to run out the clock, though Sperbeck had to leave with an apparent leg injury.

On his first touchdown giving Jesuit a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Sperbeck outsprinted three CBS defenders to the right corner on the end zone to complete a four-yard scamper.

Sperbeck's beautifully placed 28-yard scoring strike to Jason Elenberger into the middle of the end zone upped Jesuit's lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter.

After the Falcons closed to 14-10 at halftime on a Ahkello Witherspoon 25-yard field goal and John Wagstaff's 81-yard return of a Jesuit blocked field goal, Sperbeck made two dramatic third-quarter plays.

Faking a pitch, Sperbeck kept the ball, sidestepped a tackler and rocketed through the Falcons' defense for a 72-yard touchdown on the second play of the third quarter.
Later, while playing free safety, he scooped up a Falcons' fumble at the Jesuit 15 and outsprinted everyone to the end zone.

The game saw a huge swing in a matter of 45 seconds in the second quarter.
With Jesuit leading 14-3 with one minute to go before the half, Austin Gates intercepted Noon at the 30 and returned the ball to the CBS 19-yard line.

Stalled, Jesuit lined up for a field goal, but it was blocked by Wagstaff, who scooped it up and ran it all the way back with 14.8 seconds to go.

Sperbeck's first score was set up when CBS punter Justin Cappello couldn't handle the high snap, Jesuit recovering at the Falcons' 10.

Jesuit finished with 197 yards rushing.

Noon led Christian Brothers with 72 passing yards (22 for 11 with one interception) and rushed for 52. The Falcons had 89 yards rushing.

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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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